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Conquering the Marathon: My Journey from Setbacks to Triumph

Conquering the Marathon: My Journey from Setbacks to Triumph

December 07, 2023

Please see the message below from our financial guide, Dany Martin. 

Dany not only conquered the St. Jude’s Marathon, but also supported the amazing cause of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We believe his message below can be inspiring to all of us. 

The Thank You

I hope this message finds you in good spirits. I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for your generous support (we raised $4,000) and encouraging words before, during, and after my recent marathon journey, a transformative experience that unfolded with unexpected twists and turns.

I ran my 2nd marathon on Saturday, dedicated to the cause of St. Jude Children's Hospital. The race became not just a physical challenge but a profound story of resilience and triumph. Your belief in this cause and your support were instrumental in turning each stride into a step toward a brighter future for the children benefited by St. Jude, and I thank you for that.

I am thrilled to share that despite facing unexpected challenges, I crossed the finish line, and your support played a crucial role in this achievement. The journey was made more meaningful knowing that it wasn't just about personal goals but about a collective effort to make a positive impact. 

The Journey

My marathon journey unfolded as a testament to resilience, weaving through unexpected challenges and fueled by unwavering determination. The story began with my wife and training partner, Lindsi, staying back home because of “the crud” as well as a small foot injury.  In gratitude for her pivotal role in our training, I committed to running not just for myself but for both of us.  We were also planning to run with our friend from Dallas, James Speed, as he was running his 1st ever marathon. 

As we arrived on Friday, a dinner at an eclectic restaurant (The Beauty Shop) with James & Jessica Speed, their daughter, and my stepdad, James Posey set the stage for the pre-race meal.  Ravioli was the choice of carbs with a bunch of water and 1 glass of Pinot Noir.  We also had some monkey bread and French fries.   

Race day dawned with hope as I rose at 5:15 am, fueling up with my proven breakfast: 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter, an energy bar, 2 bananas, and a cup of coffee……..and water of course.  From my Airbnb to the start of the race was about a 15-minute walk and that brought together James and Jessica, my stepdad, and 25,000 other participants, all rallying for the cause of St. Jude Children's Hospital.

Blessed with favorable weather, the marathon kicked off at a brisk pace. Speed and I completed the initial 6.2 miles at an ambitious 7:52/mile pace—faster than my trained 9:45/mile pace. Adjusting our strategy, we settled into an 8:40 pace for the next 4 miles and deliberately slowed down to a 9:53/mile pace from miles 10-13, running through the inspiring St. Jude campus.

The start of the second half brought renewed energy as we picked up the pace, and with “only” 7.5 miles left, we set our sights on breaking the 4-hour mark.  At the pace we were on, we could run 10-minute miles in and achieve that sub 4-hour goal.  And this was the start to the next phase………….the grind it out part.

The Adversity

Adversity struck at mile 19 when a hamstring cramp threatened to derail my race. This is what they call the “Runners Wall.”  It is proven than after approximately 3 hours of activity, the glycogen in your body is absorbed and the brain cells start to take over.  This is when I discovered that “runners wall” was a real thing as I went from a nice running jog in good spirits, to completely bent over in the matter of seconds.  Initially feeling defeated, I pushed through with a minute of stretching, pickle juice, and unwavering mental toughness. From mile 19 to 26.2, I faced cramps four more times, requiring complete stops to stretch.  This was the most physically demanding thing I’ve ever put my body through, which turned into one of the most mentally demanding things I have every put my mind through. 

The looks on our faces below tell you everything you need to know about GRIT.  At this moment, it was me against myself.  My “why” became bigger than my excuse. 

The Takeaway

Throughout this physical and mental battle, Speed remained a steadfast companion. Together, we crossed the finish line at 4:01, turning the marathon into a triumph of mindset and determination. This race wasn't just about physical endurance; it became a poignant reminder of the incredible power of resilience when faced with adversity.

I do wish Lindsi would have been there but I’m sure she will give me another chance at some point in the future.